February 25, 2009 09:49 PM by DA Southern
Top Chef New York finishes the most successful season ever as the final three cook a three-course meal for their lives at the New Orleans restaurant Commander’s Palace in what promises to be one of the most compelling finishes in the history of Top Chef From the underdog, but surging, Carla to the ever-confident, Stefan, to Hosea, who, if he can keep from worrying about beating Stefan and just cook, the three look to impress the judges one last time as Top Chef New York crowns a Season 5 winner.
The three chefs were enjoying the calm before the storm on a local New Orleans Riverboat, Creole Queen, as they discussed the possible twist and turns that may be waiting them in the final challenge. Stefan was talking so much trash about Hosea as they headed to see Tom and Padma for the instructions for their final challenge that you wondered what was awaiting him in the next challenge.
Tom an Padma greeted the chefs and told them that they would be cooking a three-course meal to impress and that they would have some chefs Richard, Casey and Marcel from prior seasons who had made it to the finale but had fallen short in their attempt to win.
Carla had Casey for her sous chef, Richard was paired with Hosea and Stefan was loving on Marcel to help him to go over the top for the big prize. The chefs had two hours to prep at the restaurant and the stress level was through the roof as Stefan and Hosea were really rubbing each other the wrong way in the final hours. Carla reasoned that if she could let the two rosters fight it out, she might just slip in and pull out a victory over the boys in the end, but would have to cook the meal of a lifetime to do so.
Hosea was thinking some fish, as was Stefan and Carla was letting her sous chef, Casey, talk her into doing some cooking in a bag of some kind, which Hosea was questioning know Carla had never done it before. Tom met the chefs at the Commander’s Palace and told them that they were all cooking another course; either an appetizer of either, alligator, crab or redfish and that the person who would choose would be the one who found the little baby in the New Orleans King cake. Hosea found the baby and immediately gave Stefan the alligator to mess him up as much as possible. He took the redfish and Carla had the crabs to cook for her appetizer.
The chefs were minutes away from the competition and the stress was definitely getting to them all. Hosea was first out of the gate to start his redfish appetizers and impressed immediately. Stefan brought out the alligator soup for his guest and was well received, especially since they knew he had no experience in cooking alligator and Carla had a blue crab dish she srved that was the hit of all of the dishes.
The second course Squab from Stefan that clearly established the European as a real contender as Carla faltered with her New York strip steak as it was way too tough; The scallops from Hosea continued to impress the judges as Hosea had yet to falter in any of his dishes.
The third course had poor Carla virtually out of the running as she ruined her dessert dish because she didn’t turn down her oven; Stefan had an Ice Cream dessert that was fairly simple but something he was compelled to do to give his courses a beginning, middle and an end. Hosea’s pan roasted venison was so well received that even though some questioned his not serving dessert, it was so well made that most did not seem to care. Hosea’s venison was so good that Fabio, who was serving as a guest commentator on the meal, admitted that Hosea had out cooked Stefan.
The judges were pretty even with their concerns and favorites of all of the chef’s dishes. Carla knew she was out of it as the judges savaged her second course and the fact that her soufflÃƒ was trashed out, there was no way she was in the running.
Hosea’s dishes were next to be critiqued and the judges thought that he was overall pretty strong and they questioned his venison finish, but could not dispute the overall quality of the dish. Stefan was a hero with the alligator but his first course was savaged by Tom, but most loved his squab dish and his dessert was a good ending to the meal, although it was deemed pretty simple in its overall presentation and simplicity.
Padma asked each of the chefs why they should win Top Chef and all were pretty confident in their reasons why they should win. Quite frankly, Carla knew when she answered that she was out of the running. All of the judges agreed that Carla was out of the running and they really went back and forth about the decision between Hosea and Stefan and it was hard to tell which chef was in the lead by the overall comments. Gail was high on Hosea and Tom seemed to be leaning to Stefan with Padma being a true swing vote.
The Final Showdown:
With the three finalists standing before the judges, Padma said that one would be Top Chef and the winner of $100,000.00. Tom said Carla had soul when she cooked; Hosea was called very consistent and had really been a great competitor; Tom said that Stefan had great techniques and had some great highs and some lows, as well.
With great drama, Padma announced that Hosea was the Season 5 Top Chef in what was the closest decision for the judges ever on Top Chef. Hosea was truly vindicated in his final defeat of Stefan and had the most to prove as he took home the top prize on Season 5 of Top Chef.
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